Perspectives

The Thailand Digital Transformation Survey Report 2020

Beyond Technology, Talent emerged to drive Digital Transformation

Date: August 2020
Author: Viney Hora, Narain Chutijirawong, Ph.D., Kanchanok Bunsupaporn, Sakolsri Satityathiwat and Chananya Bunyalug 

  • In Thailand, Technology, Media and Telecommunications and Financial services are among the leading industries in moving towards digital transformation.
  • However, one-third of respondents to a survey say that they succeed with their digital transformation.
  • Among several challenges that business are facing, people issues and organizational culture are the most critical.
  • Data analysts and scientists are digital roles that are considered the most important and challenging for companies in terms of recruitment in Thailand. AI and Machine learning specialists will become more influential in the near future.

Digital disruption has grown to become a major force across a broad number of industries worldwide. Thus, the vast majority of global executives admit that their industries will be disrupted to a major or transformative extent. In Thailand, it is interesting to discover what Thai executives’ perspectives are on digital disruption and how companies develop and implement digital transformation in the era of digital disruption.

In October 2019, Deloitte Thailand conducted The Thailand Digital Transformation Survey among 91 executives from several industries. This was to gain insights into the digital transformation phenomenon in a business context in Thailand, how and what way businesses adopt it, as well as the key challenges or obstacles faced. The following are some key insights from the survey.

Most Thai businesses especially in Technology, Media and Telecommunication and Financial services are aware that digital disruption is happening. However, they are still optimistic about the impact of digital disruption to their companies. The report suggests that Thai companies should speed up their digital transformation readiness to deal with major to transformative digital disruption impact as it is likely to happen within the next five years. Moreover, COVID-19 crisis will accelerate digital transformation.

Digital transformation has been on the agenda of some organizations for years, which enables these companies to transform themselves to be a digital organizations and becoming market leaders. While those that do not make the shift, will struggle to survive. In Thailand, Technology, Media and Telecommunications and Financial services are among the leading industries in moving towards digital transformation. The report found that key purposes for digital transformation are enhancing end-user experience, transforming business processes and better utilizing data. Unfortunately, the results of the company’s effort were not fully realized. In fact, most results were partially successful in improving business performance through digital transformation initiatives. Among several challenges that business are facing, people issues are the most critical. To overcome these challenges, businesses might consider the following suggestions; breaking down functional silos and building digital mindset as well as having the right people, which are considered crucial to success in digital environments.

Data analysts and scientists are digital roles that are considered the most important and challenging for companies in terms of recruitment in Thailand. However, the perception on the importance and challenges of these skill sets varies across industries. Another important note from the survey is that AI and Machine learning specialists will become more influential in the near future. In closing these digital skill gaps, the report follows the “Buy-Build-Borrow” model and the result shows that more than half of the respondents chose “Borrow” as their main strategy. Key business imperatives for digital transformation initiatives will require more investing in human capital and collaborating with other stakeholders on workforce strategy.

For nearly half a century, technology has been playing a vital role. However, most of the time, the less complex technology is, the higher chance it will get adopted and deployed enterprise-wide. Web technology, mobile application and cloud technologies are relatively matured and less complicated when comparing to other technologies. Data analytics is in a unique position and it will be increasingly implemented within a year. However, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) are not well adopted owing to investment required and lack of employee skills. Businesses with high innovative and progressive cultures often subdue the importance of Return on Investment (ROI) by thinking big and bold but starting with smaller initiatives to scale up in the longer term.

Tax incentives, easing regulations and well-established infrastructure are the most popular demands companies wish they had from the government. Hence, the Thai government should improve the digital business environment in Thailand by focusing on these issues, reforming education systems and emphasizing the importance of data science skills.

Unlocking success in digital transformations

Bridging the digital transformation skills gap

Embracing Digital Transformation through key technologies

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